Automation and Cloud Networking Are Streamlining Florida Extraction
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With $7 billion, you could buy the Buckingham Palace seven times. Or you could own the majority of the global cannabis extraction market in 2019, worth a whopping $7.3 billion according to Grand View Research (GVR).
The extract market is exploding, with GVR predicting a compound annual growth rate of 16.6 percent from 2020-2027.
New Frontier Data Senior Economist Beau Whitney discussed data trends in an interview with the Financial Post, noting “If you look to the U.S., it was not uncommon to see 75 percent of the market consuming cannabis flower years ago, but as product offerings became more differentiated, we saw the market for flower drop to around 40 percent and the market for oils surge to over 60 percent.”
As interest in extractions grows with the rise of infused products (think beverages, topicals, and edibles), Florida farmers will have to consider bringing in more automation to meet demand.
According to NASA’s preferred automation tool provider and data analyst ThinkAutomation, companies using automation for mission-critical processes rose from 16 percent to 50 percent between 2017 and 2019. Automation is particularly helpful when working in highly-regulated industries, like cannabis.
For example, the state of Florida holds all hemp products to food-grade quality standards. Processors and extractors must have a Hemp Food Establishment Permit and equipment must meet state compliance requirements. With strict quality protocols like these, automation can reduce operator error and contamination potential.
Engineering and technology company Entexs Corporation started offering their extraction solutions earlier this year. Entexs CEO Ali Rashid feels strongly about automation’s potential to streamline the extraction sector.
“Automated systems reduce the number of operators required in the lab as well as the number of times the product is exposed to the environment. This means lower labor costs, more stable production yields, and more consistent product quality,” noted Rashid.
Though automated extraction isn’t a new science, it is undergoing constant innovation. Entexs’ machines, for example, are programmable. This allows operators to program recurring routines, minimizing operator involvement.
“With feedback from sensors embedded in the system, the machine takes care of the minor adjustments necessary to achieve consistent results,” Rashid shared.
Medical markets are especially in need of highly consistent extractions. One unique aspect of the Florida growers ecosystem is there are few manufacturers supplying a large volume of patients. For processors who are pulled in too many directions, a cloud network can provide real-time and trend monitoring for the entire extraction process. This is especially helpful for Entexs customers, who can take advantage of standalone or mobile extraction systems.
Whether extraction is taking place in the lab or in the field, operators have around-the-clock monitoring solutions from the palm of their hands. This gives owners freedom and flexibility while optimizing efficiency. Network solutions are also helpful for ensuring transparency if using a toll service provider.
One potential concern with automation is troubleshooting and repairs. When it’s time to process, there’s little time for delays. It’s important to work with an extraction services provider who prioritizes the customer experience.
Rashid said this is an area to pay close attention to, as a lack of communication can be costly for extractors.
He noted, “Entexs systems and modules are designed from the ground up to work as a cohesive system, minimizing operator requirements and ensuring product quality. We go out of our way to over communicate with our customers, providing the support and access they need to keep their business running.”